YMMV: MLP: Friendship Is Magic S3 E13 "Magical Mystery Cure"


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  • Accidental Innuendo: Spike's "Gangnam Style" hopping, which Psy explained as a "horse-riding dance", seems to suggest that Spike likes "riding" ponies...and the mares in Sugar Cube Corner thought it was cute.
  • Anvilicious: The show is never exactly subtle about the joys of friendship, but here, they hammer it in hard. Though some fans still consider the episode better for it.
  • Base Breaker: Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle. The idea was controversial before the episode aired. Now that it has the general consensus seems to be split between it being a good thing, that it was too early to tell, or a bad thing. After season 4 made it clear that she hadn't been turned into a Mary Sue and still had the same Adorkable personality, they've calmed down a bit.
  • Broken Base: Opinion is divided over how well the episode pulled off the above; whether it felt rushed and filled with too many songs instead of explaining events, or if this was a good way of condensing the plot down into a single episode without sacrificing the story-telling.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Becoming Alicorn Princess is now something that can be earned?!
    • How exactly did the spell change the Mane Six minus Twilight's backstories to result in them having each other's cutie marks? One particularly popular theory is that Pinkie Pie married Big Macintosh.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Sixty-Third Rune, about a Gender Bender spell, denied the citizens of Ponyville a Ripple Effect-Proof Memory; as far as the townsponies were concerned Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash were always stallions.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Celestia's statement that Star Swirl the Bearded "did not understand friendship like [Twilight] does". The comic series reveals that Celestia and Star Swirl were friends and their friendship fell apart when he caught her traveling through a magical mirror without his permission.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Holly Giesbrecht, an animator on the show and the creator of background (and later toyline) pony Holly Dash, drew this bit of Side Story Bonus Art early on in the show's life, the sketch was posted about a month after the first episode aired. What was originally some cute fanart from one of the animators (with the colored version mysteriously taken off of her DeviantArt page) ended up being some epic Foreshadowing.
    • The same applies to the countless number of Alicorn Twilight fan fics and pictures that existed before this episode was announced.
    • Getting back to the original conflict, you would not believe the number of "Twilight-screws-up-a-spell" fanfictions that were made in the past two years. It was considered cliche before the actual show got a chance to use it.
    • Pinkie Pie receiving Applejack's cutie mark takes on a slightly new light after "Pinkie Apple Pie" toyed with the idea that they could be distantly related and even though nothing was confirmed by the end of that episode, it didn't deny it either.
    • When news of the Brony phenomenon began to reach the major news networks during the series' first season, Wait Wait Dont Tell Me brought on former US President Bill Clinton to play "Not My Job" and answer questions about the show. note  This episode literally has five of the Mane Six playing "Not My Job".
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : The main complaint on the episode (after the initial kerfuffle about Alicorn Twilight) seems to be that it felt a little rushed and should have been a two-parter. Most importantly, it was never explained what Twilight's change would mean. A tweet from Meghan McCarthy states that there will be two more episodes which will turn this episode into a three-parter. Those two episodes did address this by setting up a Half-Arc Season which ultimately answered those critiques. M.A. Larson also said he wanted it to be a two-parter, but Executive Meddling told him no.
  • It Was His Sled: Thanks to news websites, The Hub's episode event title, and Hasbro reminding everyone about the new toyline (they built a life-size statue to show off at the New York Toy Fair), the whole fandom knew about Twilight becoming an Alicorn Princess weeks in advance, not counting rampant rumors even before that.
  • Memetic Mutation: Liquid Pride; totally different from crying.
  • Mondegreen: If you're not paying particular attention (and possibly even if you are...), the line "she's trying hard doing what she can" can be heard as "she's trying hard doing what she can't" during the "True True Friend" song. Which unlike most mondegreen examples, still makes complete sense, if not more.
  • Never Live It Down: Poor M.A. Larson. He has written some of the best episodes in the series, but his name is forever tied to the ensuing Broken Base regarding Twilight becoming an alicorn.
  • Nightmare Fuel: It is disturbing that Twilight can accidentally swap a pony's destiny and force her to live a life that is both unrewarding and unhappy. Twilight herself definitely thinks so.
    • Worse still: Twilight fixed her mistake. Star Swirl couldn't. Did he test this spell, and, if so, how many lives did he ruin by mistake?
  • Scapegoat Creator: M.A. Larson spoke out about the episode, and emphasized his original script for it was significantly differently, most importantly he wanted it to be a two-part episode, and he wrote it with the understanding this was the series finale. Then the script was taken out of his hands, shrunken down into one episode, and some of the removed plot elements were moved into Season 4's premiere. Yet, fans blame him and him alone for all this episode did.
  • Spoiled by the Format: You know there's going to be more coming when it looks like the problem's solved and everything's going to be all fine and dandy with a third of the episode left.
  • Squick: The way Pinkie's legs bend when she tries to applebuck a tree during the Cutie Mark song... ow.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Find a Way" sounds like a slowed-down rendition of "Major Tom (I'm Coming Home)," particularly the delivery of the lines "Losing promise, I don't know what do/Seeking answers, I feel I won't get through."
  • Tainted by the Preview: An "audio only" version of one of the songs in the episode, A True True Friend, was leaked on Internet five days before the episode aired, with it not having mixed reactions from people at Equestria Daily, but also hinted that the "swapped Cutie Marks" plot would be rushed for the sake of having Twilight become an alicorn in the final minutes.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The criticism to Twilight becoming a Alicorn Princess boils down to this since it's a seemingly major, possibly permanent physical change to the main character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Mane Character's roles get swapped? Wait, what do you mean that it doesn't happen to the main Mane Character? We barely get to see results before Twilight figures out how to solve the problem, since the third act is needed for Alicorn Twilight. As noted above, some fans think this should have been a two-parter.
    • Some fans were a bit dismayed that Twilight flew into the camera at the very end because an episode about her learning how to use to her new wings would have been nice. While her future appearances show her struggling to fly well, it's only as a minor at most plot point.
    • The show has thus far only given hints as to how exactly Cutie Marks work and how much they signify. This would have been the perfect opportunity to go into this subject but once again they don't, except by implication. Plus, there's also the fact that the dilemma was solved with the most obvious and direct solution possible instead of having to make them work for the solution.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Special attention has been paid to the lighting of this episode: there are several beautiful instances of shading, and some lens flares have been added. Add to this some dynamic camera movements (particularly the first shot, imitating the opening theme song), the epic shot of Rarity struggling to control a storm during The Cutie Mark Song, some particularly smooth animation, especially on Alicorn Twilight, and the gorgeous Celestial Plane, and "Magical Mystery Cure" is the best-looking episode up to this point of the series by a long shot.
  • The Woobie: The whole mane six for the first half, especially Twilight, who is feeling guilt-ridden for causing the whole mess to begin with.